Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to monitor the movement of huge sums of money in the activities of political parties.
The EFCC also stated that it would prevent politicians from sharing money at party conventions or at polling centres.
The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said this during a programme, ‘Question Time’, on Channels Television.
He said, “We are working with INEC to make sure that we seal every window, and every leakage before the election. We will block any avenue where people can move a lot of money either physically in cash or through banks.
“We will prevent people from using money to buy votes or use money during conventions for delegates. We have machinery in place.”
EFCC has no power to monitor parties’ spending –PDP
But the Peoples Democratic Party says it will be illegal for the EFCC to pry into how political parties spend their money.
The main opposition party stated that only the Independent National Electoral Commission was empowered by law to monitor the accounts of political parties.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, told one of our correspondents on Saturday that there was no way the commission would delegate such power to the anti-graft agency.
Ologbondiyan said, “The EFCC doesn’t have such power to monitor how political parties spend their money.
“Such power is vested in INEC and the commission doesn’t have the power to delegate the functions given to it by law.
“The electoral body had written to all political parties, asking them to furnish it with their 2015 financial records. The EFCC has no such power.
“How can they be monitoring political parties’ convention? Does the law give them such power? They can’t hide under the alleged directive by INEC to commit illegality.”
APC, NCP welcome EFCC, INEC’s partnership
But the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress and the National Conscience Party have expressed support for the decision by the EFCC and INEC to eliminate vote buying and money sharing.
In separate telephone interviews with our reporter on Saturday, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said his party, more than any other, fully supported any legitimate move to curb corruption under any guise.
He stated, “It is a welcome development. We are a government that came to power on the strength of commitment to fight corruption. We welcome it as long as what the EFCC wants to do is within the ambit of the law and we are fully in support of such a move.”
Speaking in a similar vein, the National Chairman of the NCP, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, said, “If it can be effectively and transparently done and not used by the government in power for a witch-hunt, it’s a beautiful idea.
“At least, we can be assured that people will vote according to their conscience by voting the right candidate into office and we will have fewer cases of people being induced with money to vote for the wrong people.
“It will reduce the influence of money on our polity. We only hope and pray that the anti-graft agency will not hide under this guise to intimidate other political parties to pave the way for the ruling party.”